Volunteering in the Windy City
In 2010, Marty Horn ’73 (CLAS), ’75 MA suddenly began receiving a flurry of invitations to UConn alumni events in the Chicago area. Although he’d worked in the city for decades as an advertising executive, he hadn’t been very involved with the Alumni Association, mainly because the Chicago chapter hadn’t been very active. That changed under new chapter president, Tom Rizzi. “I thought it would be an interesting thing to meet alumni in the area—I wanted to connect to people who were tied to the campus,” Horn said. “So I just started going to various events.”
Horn soon became one of the chapter’s most active alumni, so when Tom Rizzi decided to step down as president, he was the natural successor. Under Horn’s leadership, the chapter now hosts at least one event a month, ranging from happy hours to game-watching parties to formal networking events, for the approximately 1,300 Chicago-area Huskies. “We all have one thing in common: a love for UConn, and a feeling of pride for the great education we received and great time we had there, no matter when we attended.” When President Susan Herbst gave a talk to the chapter last October, it was Horn who introduced her. The two have known each other for about a quarter of a century, dating back to when Herbst was a political science professor at Northwestern and Horn was an occasional guest speaker in her classes.
But Horn’s contributions to his alma mater don’t end with the Alumni Association. At UConn, Horn studied communications, a relatively new major in the 1970s but which today is the top-ranked program in New England. Recently, he created an undergraduate scholarship for communications majors and also serves in the CLAS mentoring program. “UConn did a lot for me, so I just thought that it was only right for me to give back in any way I could.”
Horn attributes much of his success in the advertising world to his UConn education. Serving as a chapter president, endowing a scholarship, and mentoring CLAS students is the least he can do, he said.